Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Last Things

Rate this book
When strange things start happening to local music idol Anders Thorson, everyone blames his number-one-fan, Thea. But is she out to hurt him? Or protect him?

High school senior Anders Thorson is unusually gifted. His band, Last Things, is legendary in their northern Minnesota hometown. With guitar skills that would amaze even if he weren’t only eighteen, Anders is the focus of head-turning admiration. And Thea Malcom, a newcomer to the insular town, is one of his admirers. Thea seems to turn up everywhere Anders goes: gigs at the local coffeehouse, guitar lessons, even in the woods near Anders’s home. When strange things start happening to Anders—including the disappearance of his beloved cat, then his sort-of girlfriend, and, somehow, his musical talent—blame immediately falls on Thea. But is she trying to hurt him? Or save him? Can he trust a girl who doesn’t seem to know the difference between dreams and reality? And how much are they both willing to compromise to get what they want?

416 pages, Hardcover

First published May 7, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Jacqueline West

21 books672 followers
Jacqueline West on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacquel...

Jacqueline's blog: http://jacquelinewest.com/blog/

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
123 (18%)
4 stars
245 (37%)
3 stars
188 (29%)
2 stars
68 (10%)
1 star
24 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 159 reviews
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,605 reviews10.7k followers
August 21, 2022

Anders Thorson is a Rock God.

Okay, not actually a Rock God per se, but he is the front-man of a band. Calling themselves, Last Things, the band has a regular gig at a coffee shop in their Northern Minnesota town.

All in all, not too shabby for a high school kid.

Thea Malcolm is the new girl in town but has quickly become Anders number one fan.

She shows up every where he goes, never approaching, just quietly lurking in the background.

When bad things begin to happen to Anders and those closest to him, the first suspect on everyone's list is Thea.

What's her deal anyway?

She's so quiet and lives with her mysterious Aunt, who everyone suspects is a witch.

But Thea is harmless, right?

Told in alternating perspectives between Anders and Thea, the reader is quickly tuned in to the fact that there is a lot more going on in this town than meets the eye.

Let's talk about the woods.

Yes, the woods.

The woods play a prominent role in this story.

You definitely feel early on that something is out there. It takes on a presence all of its own. It's dark and eerie and we all know, that's my aesthetic.

The atmosphere of this book definitely made the story for me. I loved getting tiny tidbits of insight into what was really going on without having everything revealed.

That may not make much sense, but if you read the story, you'll get it.

This was a fast, fun read. It reminded me a bit of the movie Megan's Body mixed with a bit of Stranger Things; not a bad combo.

I would say it reads on the younger side of YA and may be a great introductory book for someone looking to get into more paranormal reads.

Overall, I was impressed with Jacqueline West's writing and I would definitely pick up more books from her in the future. This being said, I did feel the ending was a bit rushed. I could have done with a bit more explanation of the powers involved in the resolution.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Greenwillow Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity to get my hands on this early and provide my opinion.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books397 followers
November 14, 2022
This book is AMAZING and perfect for Halloween! Twisted and delightfully descriptive and creepy. Anders plays in a metal band in rural, wooded Minnesota. Thea is a shadow at his every performance at the local coffeehouse. Everyone whispers that her aunt is a witch. Everyone says Thea is his stalker. Which, pretty much, she is. But is Thea trying to protect Anders, is she obsessed with him, or is she out to hurt him?

The writing is soooo good, the use of unreliable narrators leaving you questioning yourself most of the way through the book. Is there something supernatural going on? What is it? Who is really the bad guy? I devoured this one. It would make an amazing, creepy Halloween read, and the combination of paranormal and music/rock band was awesomesauce!
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,221 reviews1,556 followers
June 6, 2019
Last Things by Jacqueline West is a standalone young adult fantasy read that just oozes mystery and intrigue along the way. The story is told with a dual point of view alternating between the two main characters of Anders Thorson and Thea Malcom.

Anders is a teenage rock god… well an aspiring one. Anders fronts the band Last Things with a couple of his friends. The guys have a permanent gig at a local bar and have gained a huge following for their small neck of the woods but have made a pact to not move on until after graduation.

Anders and Last Things certainly have their share of fans packing the place when they play and even a few outside of their gigs. Thea Malcom is one of the girls that always seems to be around and being a bit of a loner some find Thea a bit strange. When things begin happening around and to Anders and those closest to him Thea becomes a suspect in what is happening.

Being set in northern Minnesota with plenty of woods around this one certainly had that creepy, atmospheric vibe to it almost as if those woods were another character in the story. While it’s also a slow burn story that takes a good long while soaking in an air of mystery before heading the reader to the darker fantasy it still did a good job of holding my attention along the way and I rather enjoyed it when it was all said and done.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Jacqueline West.
Author 21 books672 followers
December 19, 2018
A biased review, I admit -- but this is honestly my favorite book I've ever written, and I'm thrilled that it will be heading out into the real world very soon. Thanks, readers.
Profile Image for Astrid - The Bookish Sweet Tooth.
794 reviews891 followers
May 14, 2019

TITLE: Last Things
AUTHOR: Jacqueline West
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
RATING: 4.5 Stars


LAST THINGS was a total surprise and I didn't expect it to love it as much as I did. It is told in dual POV and the author lets you get closer to the characters only in baby steps and it isn't clear until the last third of the story what we are dealing with here. The enemy and the main characters are kept in mystery which worked really well, I thought. I just wanted to KNOW.

Thea's actions is a little creepy, keeping us guessing almost until the big showdown whether she is on the good side or the bad. Her behavior is borderline stalkerish, she's the girl always standing at the edge of a room, observing. There are glimpses of her being infatuated with Anders but that's not what this is about. At the end of the book I found out how lonely and a little tragic, sad, her life must be. Although she is creepy AF sometimes I couldn't help but love her because I felt her heart was pure. Kudos to the author for making me feel that way about a very ambiguous character.

Anders is tragic in his own way. He wants to be a rock star like nothing else in the world and we know how evil always figures that out and uses those wishes to its advantage. Anders, unknowingly, made a deal with the devil years ago. Now, on the verge to stardom he has become a little cautious of offers that fall into his lap and, while he is flattered by the attention he receives, he doesn't want to do it without his band mates. I loved that Anders integrity never wavered in that regard. As much as he argued with his best friends, he never wanted to sacrifice them for his own gain.

If you read this story it will give you an idea how witch hunts in medival times started. How people spread rumors about an outsider who is "different", tell lies about them, gang up on them to bring them down. Listen closely, there is a message in this book too.

The storytelling is wonderful - the spooky vibe of fog rising and wobbeling above the ground, the atmosphere of it is thick in this story.
The narrators Lisa Flanagan and Josh Bloomberg are new to me, too and they did an AMAZING job to transfer the mood with their performance. They manage the feat to make your hairs stand up on your arms.

I admit I took a chance on LAST THINGS. It's not my usual genre, it's a new-to-me author who I've never heard of before. If that applies to you too and you are up for an adventure, that is captivating, truly unique and spooky, be sure to give this one a chance.

Profile Image for Christie«SHBBblogger».
965 reviews1,250 followers
April 27, 2019

Title: Last Things
Series: Standalone
Author: Jacqueline West
Release date: May 7, 2019
Cliffhanger: No
Genre: YA fantasy

Jacqueline West explains in the author's note that this story is inspired by the legend of blues singer Robert Johnson, the man who's told to have sold his soul to the devil for his musical talent. She gives it her own metal band spin with a high schooler who has rocketed to fame in a small town in Minnesota. I'm not a metal fan, but those who are will find a lot of references in the book to enjoy. Thea Malcom adds an extra level of mystery and creepiness as the second protagonist with ambiguous intentions. After reading the first chapter I was immediately disturbed by her behavior and curious if she was a morally grey character, a villain, or a hero in disguise. The story was a shade slow moving in the beginning, but once it gains momentum, it's pretty compulsive reading.

Anders Thorson is one third of the band Last Things and unarguably the mega talent that has them hanging on the edge of stardom. Patrick, the drummer, and Jezz, the bassist are decent but can't compare the the awe inspiring performances Anders has quickly become known for. First impressions of him tell you that he's typically a quiet guy who's not entirely comfortable with people praising his talent. When he steps onstage he dons his alter ego. The boy that has lightning fast hands on the strings, and an aloof rock star edge that makes the girls in his school crazy. At first he seems humble. Unable to take compliments or reach for fame and fortune because he hasn't properly suffered as an artist. He seems to drown in Self-recrimination and shame. The truth is far darker. It's a secret that he convinces himself is only his wild imagination, but constantly wears on his conscience regardless.

You can’t be the lead in something without it putting other people in the background. And you can’t just keep taking what you didn’t earn. You need to pay for it somehow.

I don't want to say too much about Thea for fear of spoiling the mystery surrounding her. Be prepared to wonder if she's a sick in the head stalker who has become unhealthily fixated on Anders. She exhibits all of the traits of someone like that, but there's always a little niggle of doubt about her true objective. There are dark and sinister creatures lurking in this tiny town that give more dimension to the story. Thea and her Aunt Mae are the only ones who seem to be aware of them, both gifted with supernatural talents. Mae is widely distrusted and gossiped about for odd occurrences she was tied to in the past, and as a result Thea is given a wide berth at school. Everyone sees her intense interest in Last Things, but more specifically Anders. She's even jokingly called his stalker for showing up at every single one of their shows and staring him down with laser focus. But when a local girl disappears it's no longer a joking matter.

West constantly attempts to cast doubt on the motivations of Thea, pretty far into the book. She also withholds a lot of the character background until later on to maintain a level of suspense for the reader. You're given small pieces of history and character development, but nothing concrete until around the last third of the book. While I understood her reasoning for that, it caused Thea to feel somewhat two-dimensional for a good portion of the plot. That being said, once her truth was revealed I was impressed with how distinct this was from anything else I've read. There were a couple of things that were not at all what I was expecting before opening up the book. Most notably, the small romantic sub-plot. However, I wouldn't categorize this book as romantic, really. It has a strong horror/paranormal feel that permeates every page.

The dark things aren’t quite real, anyway. Not on this side of the cracks. But when you’re empty inside, dark things will find a place inside of you. Like water. Like air. Dig a hole. There will always be enough darkness to fill it up.

The seemingly ordinary town is crawling with malevolent things that the townspeople are completely unaware of. Some glaringly dangerous, others hiding behind a facade. The only question is, who will come out victorious in the end?

I appreciated West's lyrical writing style and her ability to create a dark, atmospheric setting that almost becomes a character in and of itself. If you're looking for a YA fantasy that's a little different than what's being offered right now, give this one a shot.



May 27, 2019
This was ok. The first half of the book is incredibly slow. Once we hit about 53% into the book it finally starts to take off. Full review to come
Profile Image for Amy.
862 reviews60 followers
March 14, 2019
I LOVED this book! It gave me the same creepy feelings as when I read The Hazel Wood. I loved the character development, the superb writing, and the focus on music. I do wish the cover better portrayed the sophisticated writing and storytelling--it looks too cartoon-ish and doesn't match the tone of the story. Regardless, Jacqueline West's writing is so compelling. I don't know about you, but so much of why I love a book is how immersed I feel while reading. Let me say, I was on cruise ship while I read Last Things and I still felt like i was in a small town surrounded by dark, sinister woods. I'm so thrilled Jacqueline West took a break from her bestselling middle grade books to write another one for teens. I hope she does many more!
Profile Image for nia🏹 •shades0fpaper•.
848 reviews111 followers
May 4, 2019
“Each note is a scream
The drone is deafening
Beat beat beat
Until the truth is beaten.”

I thought the premise of this book sounded absolutely brilliant and I went into it with such high expectations, and I was so let down by it, unfortunately, because even though the concept sounded incredible and like something that I would love, the execution of the book was quite underwhelming.

It took me a while to get used to the writing style that was in Last Things, because descriptions are kind of off sometimes and it reads more like a middle grade than YA. Once I reached the half mark I started to become a bit more engaged with the story and could look past that, but at the beginning it threw me off a bit. The conversations at times were a bit wonky as well, and I felt they would need more descriptions and less dialogue between the interactions between the characters, since at times there was nothing between some lines of the conversation and I think it made me disconnect with the story a bit more.

I enjoyed how whimsical and dark everything felt. There was this atmosphere during the whole entire time because we were kept in the dark that it seemed as though there was more to what was happening than what we were seeing, and there was this odd and eerie vibe that made the book sometimes be quite interesting.

Something that I also really liked was how focus the story is on music. There were song lyrics that I believe had something to do with what was going to happen next in the book or were related in some way to the male character that composed them, but I think that was such a nice addition because it made it appeared more real in some way and added a little bit of something to the novel and made it more unique.

When it comes to the characters I have to say that they didn’t really have any evolution until the last 20 pages. It’s true that Anders changed his behavior and personality a bit as I continued with the novel, but overall there wasn’t any development in his arc until the las 10 pages, where we were reaching the end. Their POVs became a bit repetitive at times, because nothing was really happening and there wasn’t a lot of information given to us, so it became a bit boring and underwhelming.

“He doesn’t appear until the very end. Because the moment he steps onto the stage, everything changes. The taste if coffee. The lights. The air. It’s an energy that can’t be sustained.”

What bugged me a little while I was reading Last Things was that even though there are two perspectives and I can understand why these two characters haven’t interacted yet and it can make sense, it took more than 60% of the novel for them to interact and their storylines to connect, because before we reached that mark they only had one interaction with each other and nothing more, and I couldn’t see where their arcs would connect, and it seemed as though we were following two different storylines instead of one.

When it comes to the plot of the book, I have to say I was a bit disappointed. Because the author was purposely keeping us in the dark there wasn’t any plot nor we know what was going on until the last 10% of the novel, which was a bummer because I think the concept of the story was so interesting and I think this would have been a great story had things have been done differently. There were some elements that I really enjoyed and kind of redeemed the book a bit for me a made me not hate it, but I think the execution of certain things plus the lack of plot during more than half the book were pretty disappointing.

There was no explanation about the magic system that was introduced in Last Things nor the creatures that were in it. It seemed as though we’re thrown into this story expecting to know these different dark things that were the villains of the story, but there wasn’t any moment that was used to explained to us why they were there or how that magic worked and didn’t affect every person.

Overall, though the concept of the book seemed something quite unique and interesting, I was so let down by its execution and how lineal everything was. The character arc was barely there and though there were some things I enjoyed, those didn’t redeemed the mixed thoughts I had while I was reading it.

“This is where I fail, even when I win. I’m not good at letting go.”

TW: murder, mention of suicide, kidnapping

I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn’t affect my thoughts or opinions about it.

I had such high hopes with this book and I thought I was going to love it but it ended up being such a HUGE disappointment, sadly.
Profile Image for Diana.
1,766 reviews232 followers
November 5, 2018
The premise of the book seemed really captivating, but when I began reading I couldn't help but find Thea was a bit stalker-ish and a lot creepy. I know the author wanted to unveil her mistery bit by bit, but I don't know, all it conveyed to me was an obssession with the main male character, Anders.
While the writting isn't bad, I have to say that ythe characters lacked depth for me, and all of them were quite archetypical: hot guys who is famous but who struggles, awkward girl with powers there to help him, cheerleaders types of characters that insult the lead girl, misterious familiar full of secrets criticised by the rest...
As I put my main focus when reading on the characters, I have to say this book failed to captivate me, as I didn't care for the characters. I was intrigued by the mystery of who Thea is and why he has super strenght, seems to talk/ sense trees and all of that, but wasn't enough for me.
127 reviews1 follower
February 6, 2019
Last Things is a Faustian tale told in through two perspectives. Anders is a local rock legend. Only 18 years old, he's already garnered nationwide attention for his incredible skill on the guitar, songwriting prowess, and perfect voice for the metal scene. But Anders' gift wasn't earned--it was given. And now he's seeing that this gift comes with a heavy price. We also have Thea, a mysterious newcomer in town who seems like the newest obsessed fan--but she's much, much more. Her goal is to save Anders from the darkness that is coming for him. But how far is she willing to go to save him? And does he even want to be saved?

I had mixed feelings about this story. There were parts of it I enjoyed, and I don't regret having read it. I find deal-with-the-Devil stories fascinating, and Thea's brand of magic was a lot of fun. I love the way West doesn't quite let us know what she can do, how powerful she is, her past, etc. We only learn as much as we need to by the end of the story, and that's surprisingly just fine.

On the other hand, I found the story lacking in so many ways. The dialogue was frustratingly vague: Anders spends most of the story referring to a mysterious incident in the woods, which anyone can tell is his Faustian moment, but isn't directly mentioned until nearly 3/4 through the story. And in Thea's parts, she tells everything factually, adding hardly any personal thoughts, which feels really disingenuous for a first-person perspective. It feels overtly like the author is telling us how mysterious Thea is and how we don't know her motives, but through Thea? It just felt unpolished.

The setting--this could have been delved into a explored so fantastically, but it just wasn't. Small town, surrounded by deep forest, class differences, somebody always watching...should be deliciously atmospheric, but ended up mostly glossed over. Not huge, but I just thought the whole "somebody's always watching" motif could have really stuck there, and it didn't.

Which brings me to probably the hardest part of the story for me: how flat the characters were. Anders' identity ended up becoming such a huge part of his story. So much of his conflict was between who he was and the rock star persona that he throws on, but we never get to know anything about the "real" him. I can't think of a single adjective to describe his personality. All we really get is "rock star," and no indication of what is left when that's stripped away. The only real insight we get into him is in the end,

All told, the story was fine. Nothing amazing, but I would certainly recommend it to someone looking for a fun, quick YA read. There were some decent scary parts, and enough mystery to keep up the intrigue and want to see how it ends, for me at least.
Profile Image for Ann.
56 reviews1 follower
November 24, 2018
This was excellent! West’s descriptions are so vivid that I will be walking around with her settings (especially the woods!) and characters in my head for weeks now. Set aside some time to read this one without interruptions. The entire story is absorbing and suspenseful, but once you hit the last 100 pages you won’t be able to set the book down.
Profile Image for Olivia.
3,139 reviews81 followers
April 30, 2019
Find my full review here: http://www.yabookscentral.com/yaficti...

LAST THINGS is a YA fantasy that follows two teens, Anders and Thea, in alternating points-of-view. Anders is the vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for the metal band, Last Things, which also includes his BFFs Patrick and Jezz. Anders’s talent is world-class, bigger than the small town where he lives and plays. Together (but mostly with Anders’s feelings), they decided not to make any money from their playing until after they graduate high school, when Anders plans to take a year off while they try to make it big.

Thea is potentially a stalker. She follows Anders around town and goes to every show (though pretty much all the teens in town go to all the shows). She knows there is something darker at play here, hiding in the woods. No one else can see what she sees and she lurks in the shadows, not really drawing attention to herself. She lives with her Aunt Mae, who maybe has visions of the future, and who most of the people in town have written off as insane. They barely have enough money to get by.

Whether Thea is actually a stalker and what the darker things mean for Anders is slow-building with reveals and more information coming slowly, mostly towards the end of the book. The book is well-written, making the reader question what they know and who knows what throughout.

What I loved: This is a light thriller which is shrouded in mystery, and as such, it is quite the page turner. I was completely driven to find out what was going to happen and who everyone really was. The pacing is quite artistic, slowly increasing throughout the book to the intense ending/escalation. The premise and characters were really fascinating- I could easily have spent more time in this well-crafted world.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, there are still some unanswered questions in the book While this was most likely intentional and allows one to draw their own conclusions on some things, I did want some more information on certain characters. I will say that most of the plotlines are drawn to a close and we get many answers in the book, so it is not a cliffhanger or open ending.

Final verdict: Overall, this is a masterfully paced YA fantasy/light thriller that will keep the reader guessing and second-guessing. I would highly recommend for fans of supernatural books with shrouds of mystery.
Profile Image for Jessica.
1,161 reviews81 followers
May 1, 2019
Okay friends, this book was a ride! Let's start with that, because I'm still trying to put together all my thoughts into a coherent review and that's forefront on my mind. It's always a breath of fresh air to read something outside the lines, to read something that is atmospheric and intriguing. That's this book, perfectly described. Last Things is what I've been waiting for, and it was a darn good way to start the month.

Let's talk characters. Anders Thorson is now one of my favorite male characters. Why, you ask? He's a teenage boy, in a rock band, who isn't a brooding jackass. Anders is sweet. He loves his family, and his cat. He loves his guitar, his band, and is adorably humble when it comes to his talent. He isn't the kind of guy who uses girls, but instead is genuinely interested in one and too shy to reciprocate anything. In other words, Anders is an excellent character. I loved him from the moment I met him and, even as his dark secrets started to spiral into the open, I was 100% behind him. He's a character you can root for, and that makes this book such an easy read. Add in the fact that he's also the "damsel in distress" in this book, and you have my heart.

Yes friends, the woman saves the man in this book. Thea, if it's possible, is an even more intriguing character than Anders. I love how the story starts out with her shrouded in mystery. It's not obvious whether she's stalking Anders, or protecting him. As the story progresses though, and you start to see into Thea's past, things get more layered than I could have hoped for. Thea is strong. There's no two ways about it! She's the type of character who will give up everything if necessary, for the good of someone else. Watching her interactions with the world around her, and with Anders, was just perfection. The link between them drove the book forward, and I both helplessly and eagerly held on.

The fact that this story also revolves around music, and the ties that it has to emotions, made me so happy. As West wrote out Anders' songs, I could actually hear them in my head. I could feel the emotions that were pouring out of him, and I could sense the energy in the room when he performed. This is a book that is rife with atmosphere. The pages crackle and sizzle, the woods press in too close and too dark. It fascinated me that I flew through this book, and yet I felt connected to it too. Such a wonderful way to read a story.

Long story short, this was a lot of fun to read and I'm highly recommending that you put this on your TBR if it isn't there already. It's well worth your time!
Profile Image for Linda.
947 reviews143 followers
May 6, 2019
Edge. of. my. seat. Flipping pages until 2am. This story simply hummed!
Everything about it was electrifying. I loved the metal song lyrics. I loved the progression, the way that it unfolded. The characters, the dawning, the realization.
Even if you don't like mysteries, or if you don't like metal music, you will still want to read this.
It's not a mystery, per se. It is simply a story of a boy. He's got some skills, shall we say. He may have made a mistake. Everything is not as it seems, and neither is everyone.
The dark is a character here too. And if you live on the edge of civilization, if you have been in the woods at night, you know how that is possible.
I loved it. There was not a false note. Not a single place where I thought, oh, no way.
Then the ending. Light and dark and just when you thought - okay. I mean, it was possible to see it going that way, but really? Really? You just don't know. You know even less than you thought you did.
I wasn't sure about Thea. I wasn't sure about Flynn. I wasn't even sure about Aunt Mae. But that's nothing to how shell shocked Anders is when he finds out the truth.
Get ready for a wild ride.

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Watch for my post on Tuesday as Last Things hits shelves!
Profile Image for Ryan.
37 reviews5 followers
December 19, 2018
Amazing. The perfect blend of frightening and musical. Jacqueline's poetry background shines in the lyrics, and her real-world metal band inspirations are evident in the band she's created. It's a love letter to the North Woods, as well as to off beat metal clubs and the kids in that scene.
Profile Image for Brenda.
860 reviews37 followers
July 1, 2019
Last Things alternates between chapters of Thea and Anders, slowly revealing the main plot, always with a hint of mystery and suspense. There's an overall eerieness that I thoroughly enjoyed. The woods almost take on a life of their own, they have an ominous, dark, mysterious even dangerous quality to them. They contain a darkness that is watching, lurking, preying on peoples strongest desires and insecurities. Couple that with Thea's almost obsessive fascination with Anders and her earliest descriptions of watching him perform at the Crow's Nest, it gives the story a whole creepy, stalkerish vibe. Is she a love-struck fan or does she have other motives?

West creates this beautiful atmosphere within the coffeehouse. She captures the perspectives of both the performer and the audience. It's exhilarating to read about Anders on stage performing his sets, the way he strums his guitar and how the intensity of the music moves the audience. The poetic quality of the lyrics he sings and the emotions that arise in those listening. West even includes the entire song lyrics into the story, my favorite is "Devils Due." I'd describe this book as a mix of Stranger Things meets the movie Crossroads starring Ralph Macchio. In fact, in one of her interviews, she says that she drew inspiration from the legendary blues musician Robert Johnson who reportedly sold his soul to the devil. Overall, I quite enjoyed this dark twisty story with an emphasis on metal music and questionable musical talents.
Profile Image for Rachel.
483 reviews46 followers
June 23, 2019
This was a unique, well written plot, book with suspense and mystery. This book is on the creepy/thriller side which is a genre I don't usually read, but by the time it got really creepy, I was already hooked and had the know how it would end.
Profile Image for menna.
318 reviews286 followers
October 3, 2019
there's nothing that's really wrong with this, I'm not sure if it's "it's not you, it's me" situation but I can't say exactly what I didn't like about this. I didn't hate it exactly I just felt lukewarm about everything and couldn't care about what was happening.
Profile Image for Angela.
178 reviews1 follower
May 19, 2019
In a small town deep in the northwoods, metal guitarist Anders Thorson and his band, Last Things, are about to be the next big thing. But there’s something uncanny about his ability, and there’s something in the woods. This is freaking great!
Profile Image for Kris.
408 reviews48 followers
May 10, 2019
I got a really creepy vibe from this book, but also found it very fun to read. I liked the supernatural elements throughout the book, I thought it brought a lot of different aspects to the story. I also enjoyed the inclusion of a lot of the lyrics from the songs they were singing at the Crow’s Nest.

The story is told in alternating perspectives, one being Anders who is the lead singer of the band Last Things, the other being the new girl in town, Thea. Anders is the typical brooding musician at the beginning of the book. I enjoyed reading from his perspective especially when songs would “come“ to him. Thea is one of the most interesting characters I’ve gotten a chance of reading the perspective from. There is a lot of talk about her aunt Mae who she lives with and in turn her.

I enjoyed the story overall and found myself having a hard time putting the book down because of the way each chapter ended. This book was written so well, I can’t wait to pick up another book by this author!
Profile Image for Michael.
291 reviews5 followers
April 30, 2019
I got offered an ARC without even knowing what title it would be. This book showed up a couple weeks ago.

It sounded interesting and is out soon, so I plopped down with it about 2 1/2 hours ago. I couldn't put it down, as it teases the reader perfectly with the mystery behind the male protagonist Anders and him being a music prodigy leading a metal band.Then there is Thea, who is super intriguing and has her own interesting past.

Jacqueline West describes since with the right amount of detail that helps the reader truly capture the scenes as they unfold.

And while the story of someone wanting so much out of life, they unknowingly trade a piece of themselves isn't original, it works so well with this story.

This was a nice standalone book, but I wouldn't complain about future adventures of Thea should it happen, and a super fun, enjoyable read. I definitely recommend it if you want a good combo of YA, supernatural, and metal music.
Profile Image for Christina.
886 reviews29 followers
June 4, 2019
Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge: A book with no chapters/unusual chapter headings /unconventionally numbered chapters


I think Jacqueline West may actually be magic, because she managed to tap into my adolescent brain. This book felt EXACTLY like something I would have dreamed up as a 15 year-old (although, you know, well written and an actual book instead of "oh wow this would be a neat idea"). It is so good. It bypassed my regular book brain and dove straight into the place in my head where the books I really loved as a teenager live. I'm obsessed.

The story isn't new. There's a gifted musician, almost unbelievably gifted, a teenage boy who lives and breathes his music but is also wary of the gifts. It isn't very long before we find out why, but if you've read any books or heard any legends about unbelievably gifted musicians, you've probably already guessed. That's Anders. Then there's the girl who watches him, or, as she tells us, watches over him. She's kind of a Luna Lovegood meets High Plains Drifter with a bit of Tiffany Aching thrown in. That's Thea. Anders doesn't know about her, but she knows all about him.

As for the rest, you should probably just read it and find out.
Profile Image for Jessica Gleason.
Author 15 books55 followers
April 5, 2020
This was a strange delightful little story, unexpected and original.
Profile Image for Melanie  Brinkman.
619 reviews77 followers
October 21, 2019
Are your dreams worth sacrificing your reality?

High schooler Anders Thorson is legendary... at least in his northern Minnesota hometown. At eighteen, he's blessed with talents that have helped his band, Last Things, score regular gigs and growing fame. Newcomer Thea Malcolm shows up to everywhere he goes. When strange things start happening around Anders - including the disappearance of his cat, his sort of girlfriend, and his musical gift, blame falls on Thea. Just what is she trying to do? Can he trust a girl who doesn't seem to know where dreams end and reality begins?

A story of two souls drawn together by true evil. A tale about fame and what it's really worth.

Trigger warning for kidnapping.

Arguably the mega talent and frontman of his band, Anders was more than your average rocker. Humble, but dissatisfied with small town life, he was prone to an immense amount of angst. Holding on to the secret of how he got his talent, and essentially lying to everyone, broke him. It sent him into pits of shame. Watching him figure out just how bad keeping that secret was chilled me to the bone.

A loner gifted in her own ways, Thea was delightfully complex. While we weren't privy to her intentions until much later on, her kindness towards those she cared about beamed. I was consistently trying to figure out this soul shrouded in mystery.

There are reasons they tell you to stay out of the woods. Darkly atmospheric, the woods shrouded town was creepy. A quietly sinister air trapped me inside this book. Vague hints about the bad things lurking in the woods kept me on tenterhooks.

Inspired by the tale of Robert Johnson, a blues legend who might have sold his soul for his talent, this novel was peppered with a satisfying melody of music references. Lyrical, Jacqueline West left a trail of crumbs to what was really going on. The story of her morally ambiguous characters taught a painful lesson : everything comes with a price. While I enjoyed Last Things, the ending felt a bit rushed.

Last Things is perfect for the spooky season.
Profile Image for Alex.
128 reviews1 follower
May 11, 2019
When I first heard about this book, I was really excited to read it. Having read it now, I'm just disappointed. Nothing happens until, like, 80% into the book. Not even weird things, or strange things, to up the atmosphere and darkness. It's just Thea going around being cryptic and stalkerish, and Anders thinking about the band. I think there is one or two mildly strange little tidbits in there, but they don't help progress the plot and just get absorbed into the nothingness.
Its just a bit boring.
The author sets up a few interesting, mysterious moments surrounding Thea but they don't go anywhere. Also, Anders just felt whiny. I understand where he was coming from, but to have that be his only (maybe not only, but he was just constsntly whining to himself) talking point and strong character trait was so tiring.
Aside from that, the climax felt extremely rushed to be the only thing that actually happens.
The ending also just didnt do it for me. You go through most of the book and it feels like within 20 pages the story just ends. It just wasn't interesting. The writing style was beautiful, but it slowed down the story to a crawl.

Also that kiss at the end?? Why? I get that maybe Thea developed feelings for someone she was essentially stalking for a long while, but why did he kiss her? It didn't need to go there. It just cheapens the story.

I would be really interested to see what the author writes next, and give that a try. This just didn't do it for me.

Tldr; the writing was beautiful, but didn't help the plot in any way. Thea was overly cryptic, and Anders is whiny. Nothing happens until way too far into the story, and then its all resolved in 20 pages. It was mildly interesting.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Stay Fetters.
2,112 reviews132 followers
May 8, 2019
”But when you’re empty inside, dark things will find a place inside of you."

What would you give up to have everything you have ever dreamed of?

Anders wanted fame, fortune, and to be a guitar master. One day, he got exactly what he asked for but it came with a dire price.

Last Things has potential to be one of the largest bands in the world. All of their shows bring people into this small coffee bar that’s located near the woods and people come from all over to see Anders.

Thea sits in that coffee bar every week to watch them play and to watch Anders closely. She’s known as his stalker but she never gets close enough to talk to him. No one is sure what she’s up too but they know who she’s related to.

When strange things start to happen, people start to blame the new girl in town, Thea. Is she really there to help Anders? Or is she there to ruin his life?

All things come at a cost. Is Anders willing to sign his life away on the dotted line to get what he wants?

Last Things was amazing. Most of this book had me on the edge of my seat and I didn’t know what was coming next. It was a lot different than what I imagined and surpassed my expectations.

A lot of people keep comparing this to The Hazel Wood and I wish they wouldn’t. This book is so much more epic than that one. If you’re looking for not your typical fantasy and badass metal, then this is definitely your next read!!
Profile Image for Roxanne.
1,052 reviews54 followers
May 18, 2019
I received this Arc from Greenwillow press. Thank you for a copy in exchange for a fair review.

Thea seems obsessed with Anders, she goes to every show and she follows him after every show. No one really knows who she except that she is related to the crazy lady on the woods. But Thea knows that there were dark things in the woods and only she can save him. Or can she?

Andrea doesn't even think of his stalker, he just wants to play music. He will do anything to be a star. Or would he?

I have to be honest I didn't know what to think. As I read I really didn't know where it was going. I didn't even know if I would like the book. I was drawn in. I really wanted to know what would happen. I liked it, but I am still processing how I feel about the reveals.

I will say I am fan because I am super picky about books with these elements in them and I either love them or hate them with very little inbetween.
Profile Image for Kelli.
121 reviews2 followers
July 8, 2019
Actual Rating: 4.25

This was a fun and spooky read. I listen to a lot of metal and I definitely appreciated that a) the author referenced relevant bands and b) that Anders was a metal snob (but that's because I am sometimes a music snob in general and I felt vindicated by his opinions.)

Thea had the worst lot in life and my heart aches all over for her. I can't say much else without ruining the unreliable narrator effect that the author is going for for Thea's character, but I love her creepy little self so much. And her relationship with the guys at the coffee shop was the perfect touch to humanize her.

I kind of wish there was going to be a sequel - it almost ended open enough that I could see one coming, but honestly I think that's just because I want a different ending for one of the characters and it just didn't happen in this book.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 159 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.